The Windigo
IC date: Summer 70, 1007
OOC date: August 29, 2012
PCs: Blackbird, Rumble-Riot, Snowfield
NPCs: None
GM: Snowfield

Blackbird is the type to get hit with notions and ideas. Thoughts. And while this is all well and good for creativity, it certainly isn't uncommon for them to stick in his brain and fester. Something or other sparked a thought in the stallion's head, and he couldn't get it out. He hadn't seen Snowfield in a while. A long while. And even though she can take care of herself, even though she's snappish and grumpy, his worry has already grown.

And so it was that the local schoolteacher found himself wandering in the Wintersong Forest, lanterns strapped to his back over his saddlebags. He remembered Sadaka saying something about a frozen waterfall… but he hasn't seen any such thing yet.

He's so lost.

But he isn't the only one!

After one heck of a night of drinking, a newcomer to the ol' Harbor has also found himself hopelessly turned around in this maze of a pony-eating forest. It didn't seem so bad at first, what with Rumble's entire goal in life being to explore the unexplored, but after two days of being unable to find an exit, or anything to suppliment his dwindling supplies of bread and water, the orange pony is finally starting to feel his spirit of adventure obtain the barest hint of a scratch on the glossy surface.

This tree in particular he swears he's passed three times just in the last hour. So that's why he's sitting there now, digging through his dufflebag for another piece of bread. "…Maybe this forest is a little too full of adventure. I guess I should've stopped for a map. Or a compass. Or..something.."

If Blackbird made the trek to Snowfield's cottage before venturing into the forest proper he would have found the house long-abandoned. No hoofprints in the snow leading up to the door, a healthy layer of dust on every surface, and the food all… well preserved, actually, thanks to the perpetual below-zero temperature of the forest outskirts. It's like nature's refridgerator!

As for the forest depths? Significantly colder, even at the height of summer. As of yet there's no sign of Sadaka's mysterious 'frozen waterfall', although considering how long she and her friends had to walk into the forest to stumble into it there's really no telling how far in it actually is. The lack of distinctive landmarks probably doesn't help, either.

Rumble Riot's adventure, at least so far, as been relatively uneventful so far aside from actually being in the forest. Aside from that bothersome feeling he might have that he's being watched by something lurking just out of sight, it's downright dull!

Blackbird has walked past the same rock for the third time in an hour, so it's possible he and Rumble were just… trotting in circles, just missing each other. But this time, he hears the other pony, and cautiously, he travels that way. "Hello? Snowfield?" he calls, eyes on the forest around him.

Adventure wasn't meant to be dull! It was meant to be exciting, and full of weird creatures, and treasure! This is, obviously, what frustrates Rumble so. Not only was this oh-so-dangerous forest proving to be anything but, there hasn't been a single interesting thing after the initial shock of 'oh my goodness I'm in a forest' wore off.

Thus, after his light snack, Rumble's ears swivel, trying to catch any kind of noise. Anything at all. …Then he hears it. A voice! Words! Something other than leaves! Both ears perk, the pony stuffing rations back into his bag. "Hey! Somepony else out there?"

The trees rustle ominously at the shouting, but otherwise nothing of interest occurs.

The bushes part, as a white stallion pokes his head through, green hair quite vivid even in the low light. "Oh— you're not Snowfield. Are you lost?" he inquires. "Do you need help getting back to town?"

White! Blue eyes peer at the white head that suddenly pops up out of the bushes, Rumble giving a snort in reply. "I'm not a snowfield, no. You look more like snow than I do." He slings his bag over his back again, "And I'm not lost! I'm looking for adventure. Have you seen any around here? Because all I've seen are plants, and none of them have been very exciting. Heck, you're the most exciting thing I've bumped into in two days!"

The wind gusts, dropping the temperature by a few precious degrees for several seconds and causing the trees to creak. Spoooooky~

"Not exciting?" Blackbird stares. "You haven't run into any… anything? Really?" He looks taken aback, really. And as the wind blows, he shivers, and steps further into the clearing, allowing the benefit of the lantern light to reach the new pony. "Well, you found adventure, but I'm surprised it hasn't really found you. This place is terrible. I'm looking for a friend, Snowfield. Want to join me? Might be some…crazy…craziness on the way."

The sudden gust of wind, the chilling temperature… The spooky trees! They draw Rumble's attention, due to an involuntary shiver. Ooh. "…Huh! No wonder I couldn't find any adventure. Apparently it was all following you." Now-shining blue eyes focus on the white pony, Rumble giving his most friendly grin. "Hey yeah, now we're talkin'. Crazy craziness sounds better than boring dullness. Lead on, Mr. Adventure!"

Everything goes frighteningly silent when it is proposed that Blackbird leads the group, as if the forest is waiting for his answer.

"Uh— yes, okay," Blackbird stammers. His ears flatten, because the forest. It's looking at him. Oh, god. But at least he has a meatshield now. I mean, friend. A friend.

He starts trotting swiftly in what he hopes is a new direction. "This place turns you around rather easily. But we're looking for a frozen waterfall. You seen one yet?"

"A…frozen waterfall?" Rumble repeats, carefully, making sure he heard it right. He trots after happily enough, in the New Direction. The sudden absence of sounds hadn't quite occurred to him that it may have been a problem! "Isn't that just a big icicle then? Water doesn't exactly fall after it's frozen, does it?"

Through a complete coincidence of timing there's a rustle in the trees again followed by another sudden drop in temperature, althoug this time there's no gurst of wind to accompany it. A sheen of hoarfrost begins to creep over the needle-covered ground and the trunks of the trees in the direction that Blackbird and Rumble are trotting towards. Almost as if it's trying to ward them off… clearly, ADVENTURE lies in this direction!

Blackbird deems this to be poor fortune, as he notes the drop in temperature. "This is either the right way, or the very wrong one," he mutters under his breath. But to Rumble, he adds, "It looks like a waterfall, but yeah, it's pretty much a popsicle." Onward, he pushes, toward the hoarfrost.

"Adventure, adventure~ o/` Thrilling, chilling, blood-spilling~"

An adventure isn't complete without some kind of adventure song! Rumble is only too happy to belt that out while they wander the forest. When he hears Blackbird speak up with something, he's too busy singing to hear it properly! "Huh? Oh hey look! Frost!" What comes after pointing out the obvious? Jumping to conclusions!

"That means we're close right? We gotta be! This is adventure frost! It sure was a stroke of luck bumping into you, I don't think I could've survived being bored much longer."

Whatever it is that is frosting up the forest, it doesn't seem to like the fact that it hasn't scared away Blackbird and Rumble. The temperature drops further, rapidly approaching 0, and the ground underfoot starts to become slick as the frost gives way to proper ice. A steady breeze begins to lace its way through the trees and whistle through their branches.

Blackbird starts to shiver something fierce, as they trek on, his ears flat. "This was a really stupid idea. A really really stupid idea. If I don't make it back to my foal, I'm… guh. Can't think like that." Muttering, ever muttering, the stallion continues to move forward regardless, though as it hits zero, his teeth are chattering and it's getting harder to move forward. "L-let's just see if you s-s-s-survive bumping into m-me next."

Snowfield has to restart the computer, be right back.

Adventure is cold! Rumble's desire to break into song again is wilted somewhat by the fact that 'chilling' is all too literal right now. "Brr…" And yet! The thrill has returned, and that's enough to keep going for. There's got to be something good if things are getting this creepy!

Thus does Rumble pick his pace up, as best he can given the growing slipperyness of the footing, intent to push through side by side with the white pony. "C'mon, this isn't that bad! We're not frozen to the ground, about to be eaten by ice snakes or something, are we? It's just some bad weather! Keep moving and we'll be fine." Then, as though to prove once and for all just how little sense this pony seems to have, he shouts to the weather. "You hear that? We're not gonna stop! So let us through or else!"

The wind gusts up under Blackbird's lanterns and blows out their flames, leaving the two stallions in the dark of the forest… but it is not completely blac here. Ahead of them something is glowing blue between the trees. Should the two press their luck and continue to advance they'll discover… the fabled waterfall! It's beautiful, crystalline form looks as if time itself was frozen and seems to glow with an inner power… or at least something behind it is glowing. Below the falls a lake is equally cut from the flow of time, though someone appears to have done a bit of redecorating: an ice boulder bordering on glacial in size is in the middle of the lake, also glowing… though sporting a mesterious shadow in the middle.

"ARE YOU CRAZY!!!" Blackbird shouts, as the wind blows out their lanterns. GREAT, the stupid adventure pony is going to get him killed. He groans unhappily and pushes onward, regardless. If he turns around now, he's liable to just be totally lost, and they're so close— maybe Snowfield is right around the corner. Maybe she can help!

And maybe, he'll find exactly that. "Sweet Celestia, we're saved," he breathes. "…I hope. … Oh god, Snowfield's gone and gotten herself frozen again. Snowfield!!" He races onto the lake, immediately launching into slip'n'slide mode as he skids toward the ice boulder. "Snowfield!!!"

Rumble squints at this eeeeeeeerie sight. Otherworldly glowing and ice! A frozen waterfall! IT DOES EXIST! The orange pony gives a joyful shout. "We made it! Look! I told you! …But there's no monsters here. It's pretty, but where's the adventure?"

Then Blackbird goes off and starts skidding towards the icy boulder. Welp, maybe there's something interesting in there. This sure doesn't look like a snowfield though. "Hey, wait up Mr. Adventure!" the orange pony shouts, skidding along afterwards.

The glacier rumbles and shakes as Blackbird skitters across the ice to it. The glow brightens and it rises from the lake, surface roiling and shifting as it sculpts itself into a terrifying new shape.

Several seconds of ice morphing later results in a terrifying equine shape resembling the Windigos of legend, eyes ablaze with cold blue fire as the glowing creature floats above the lake. From its mouth comes a monstrous whinny, cold and piercing to the very soul. It turns its gaze upon the two creatures who would dare approach this place and snorts a cloud of steam that drifts towards the ground and spreads across the lake menacingly.

Blackbird starts chipping manicly at the ice, trying to free the pony within. "Screw adventure, my friend's in trouble!" he shouts at Rumble.

And then the Windigo.

The pony's eyes widen his ears flattening as his whole body scrunches up and he scrambles backwards. Or tries to — really, he winds up scrambling in place and falling flat on his butt. He stares up at the creature for a long moment, completely floored, before he screws up his courage and musters a glare. "You don't scare me!" he lies. Such a lie.

» Rumble-Riot rolls 1d10 (Stupidity Level…) — Result: 7 | Sum: 7

"Aw yeah, now that's more like it!" Rumble's excited voice doesn't come close to matching the fierceness of a windigo's whinny, but it's there regardless! "Now THIS is an adventure! Don't worry, I've got it!"

Launching himself across the ice, letting the slick surface carry him, Rumble ends up skidding right past Blackbird, towards the mist! Then he leaps! Strong back legs dig into the ice to grant the pony lift, attempting to carry himself over the approaching line of steam washing across the lake, twisting magestically through the air, all with the sole intent of introducing his back legs to the mysterious frosty lake-creature, whilst shouting a heroic battle cry!

"Rumble BUCK!"

» Snowfield rolls 1d10 (Damage!) — Result: 4 | Sum: 4

The Windigo is unimpressed by Blackbird's posturing. It shakes its head defiantly and bellows at the stallion, an unearthly howl accompanied by a blast of cold air. If it's any consolation at least it's not supernaturally cold, just the regular, freeze-you-to-the-bone cold.

Rumble's mighty buck catches the Windigo off-guard with a strong blow to the chin which knocks its head away from Blackbird. There's an audible crunch as the ice in its neck visibly cracks but it doesn't seem slowed down in the slightest as it floats back and then charges at the orange adventurer.

Blackbird goes tumbling at the howl. Not far, but he's knocked off balance on an icy lake, so far enough. He's freezing now. And he scrambles to his hooves, sliding back and forth, and this time he runs at the Windigo to headbutt any bit of it he can reach. He can't jump as high as Rumble can but he can sure try!

» Rumble-Riot rolls 1d10 (Ohcrapdodge!) — Result: 8 | Sum: 8

"Haha yeah! Take that you oversized rocking horse!" Rumble cheers upon his successful landing. He felt that impact, he heard that crunch! That had to hurt something! The orange unicorn turns around to admire his handiwork. Only to realize a moment too late there's nothing to admire but a ticked-off spirit.

He's got some good muscle memory in those legs though! The shock of seeing the Windigo in full-charge prompts a surprised jump from the stallion, straight up! Which probably means he also comes back down, straight down, on this mythically dangerous creature. "Whaaaaa!"

» Snowfield rolls 1d5 (Headbutt damage!) — Result: 3 | Sum: 3
» Snowfield rolls 1d10 (Windigo Rodeo, success on a 7+) — Result: 5 | Sum: 5

The Windigo is poised to slam Rumble square into the trees when Blackbird saves the day! The white stallion catches the charging Windigo in the flank with that headbutt. It's note quite as impressive as the air buck but there's a fresh spiderweb of cracks in its torso now. Unfortunately for Rumble, the blow pushes the Windigo out of the path of his jump so there's nothing for him to land on but the frozen lake below.

Hooves kick at the air threateningly as the Windigo rears back and bellows again. It stomps its front hooves (for it has no rear hooves) on the icy ground below, accompanied by a flash of bright blue. The surface of the lake cracks and buckles, fracturing like salt flats in the desert to ruin Blackbird's and Rumble's footing.

Blackbird staggers back unsteadily, head spinning. But at least he did something! That is, until he's thrown off his feet to hit with a THUMP onto the ice when the Windigo sends a shock through the lake. "Wagh!! Horseknuckles, don't let it sink Snowfield!"

Rumble's footing was already ruined! Landing on nothing but lake makes his hooves slip out from beneath him, sending him into a sprawl across the ice. "Ugh. Good shot Mr. Adventure! Hit him again! One-two buck! Duck and weave! Go for the throat! Buck it in the junk!" Do Wendigos even have junk? Think Rumble, think! Cuz' right now you're not doing much to faze it…

Oh right! Magic! Like a lightbulb going off over his head, Rumble remembers he's got this crazy HORN thing. He struggles up to his hooves, doing his best to brace himself on the ice, head lowered and spiral horn aimed at the icy creature of death! "BEHOLD my awesome magical powers! Eat magic missiles Frosty!"

With a look of such intense focus on his face, Rumble's horn lights up with an eerie blue glow! Shots of fiery blue magic launch from its tip, like so many baseballs of wanton magical destruction! Each one, causing Rumble to skid back an inch or so on the cracked ice. Pew, pew!

» Snowfield rolls 1d5 (How many shots hit?) — Result: 2 | Sum: 2

The Windigo doesn't seem to care about whatever the heck Blackbird is yelling about. He's not nearly as bothersome as the unicorn that is shooting magic at it and chipping away more ice from its body! Several shots go wide, but several more strike the creature in its head and shoulders. With each impact there's a blast of snow and another crack.

The Windigo isn't slowing down, but something HAS changed. There's some sort of… music? A voice singing a wordless melody can be heard echoing from the icy monstrocity as it stomps its hooves in frustration. Accursed ponies, still fighting! There's another flash of blue light as the cracked lake surface begins to tremor. This is soon followed by spikes of ice that lance up from the lake all around the two stallions.

» Blackbird rolls 1d10 (Is there stabbing?) — Result: 5 | Sum: 5

A sharp spike of ice shoots up beside the prone Blackbird, nicking his side and making him roll away swiftly. As he gets his hooves under him again, he turns and scrambles, using the ice spikes to leap clumsily off of to try and buck the thing. Front hooves, back hooves — doesn't matter. JUST KICK IT.

» Blackbird rolls 1d10 (BUUUUCK) — Result: 7 | Sum: 7
» Rumble-Riot rolls 1d10 (For the fun of Spike) — Result: 1 | Sum: 1

Ohgeez spikes! The sudden eruption of icy sharp stabbing things jutting up all over the place was so completely unexpected! It can't be helped, trying to avoid spikes from one area makes Rumble skid into another patch altogether! Waugh! Suddenly sharp stabbing ice poking his flank!

Okay, so it was really more of a flesh wound, and given how cold it is it's not going to bleed much. But it did give the plucky adventurer an idea! Rumble carefully steps around a couple chosen ice spikes, attempting to line them up with his intended target. He lights his horn up again, "Awesome magic powers, I call you to the ICE!" Huzzah! Suddenly two ice spikes are infused with unicorn glow! Just as suddenly, Rumble lets loose a bloody buck to crack both sharp spikes, launching them at the crazed Windigo!

» Rumble-Riot rolls 1d10 (Fighting Ice with Magical Ice!) — Result: 10 | Sum: 10

Why are these ponies still standing!? The Windigo bellows in anger once more, though the cry seems to whistle slightly as it partially escapes through the cracks in its body and is still tinged with that otherworldly song. It prepares to charge at them once more when it's caught by surprise by its own spikes!

Rumble's first hijacked stalagmite strikes the Windigo in the side of the head, causing another sharp crack in the creature's neck and dazing it for a moment. This leaves it wide open for the second spike which strikes it in the shoulder. One of its front legs is utterly destroyed by the blow, splintering and raining to the ground with a clatter and sending the monster to the ground.

There's no way for the Windigo to protect itself from this prone position as Blackbird leaps in for the finishing blow. His powerful, earth pony legs strike the icy equine square in the jaw. There's a mighty CRACK of ice shattering as its head is finally torn clean off of its body, spiraling through the air and shatting against the cliff face the waterfall has frozen against several meters away. Even missing a leg and a head, however, it is still flailing angrily, as if it has not yet realized it's been defeated yet.

The wordless melody becomes substantially louder as the source of the music is revealed: half-submerged in ice in the middle of the creature, and now exposed through the gaping hole that was once its neck and shoulder, is Snowfield. Her horn and eyes are glowing brightly as she sings her haunting melody, a snarl drawing back her lips… at least until she catches sight of the white stallion. The singing stops and the body of the Windigo slows to a grinding halt.

"Oh," she says, casually if with a hint of surprise, as if she wasn't just trying to mercilessly slaughter the two other ponies. Her eyes are still aglow and there's a faint echo in her voice. "Blackbird, what are you doing out here? Did you get lost?"

Blackbird watches the thing flail and die, all on pins and needles— until Snowfield emerges, and he blinks. "Th— that was you?!" he shouts. "I was— I was coming to see if you were okay! You haven't been around town at all!"

When the Wendigo pretty much shatters into a pony, and the friend of the white one no less, Rumble slumps against the ice. Phew! But the respite is brief, Rumble getting back up to trot merrily over to Blackbird and the new pony. "Is this your friend, Mr. Adventure? That thing was fun! Why couldn't I find something like that two days ago?"

"I couldn't just go back into town," Snowfield says as her hown glows again. The cracks already on the Windigo's body begin to glow in kind and spread across the entire surface. Mere seconds pass before it is completely engulfed and, with a wave of cold air, explode into a flurry of snow. She drops lightly to the ground and wobbles on her feet. "I need to stay out here where we won't be disturbed."

The little mare takes a step forward and wobbles again. She doesn't maintain her balance this time and slips to the ground, the light in her eyes finally vanishing. "Give me a moment," she mumbles as she shakes her head to clear the stars from it. "I'm not… I haven't had to use that much magic all at once since I've been out here."

"Yeah, this is my friend," Blackbird sighs to Rumble. As Snowfield falls and stumbles, he sighs again and carefully steps forward to nose Snowfield up and toss her onto his back. "Behind the waterfall, Sadaka said… Let's see. Come on, Stranger. You fight well." The teacher just sounds weary though, as he slips-and-slides his way across the ice toward the alleged entrance to the cave.

"Of course! I'm an adventurer. Adventurers are supposed to be good fighters, or else we wouldn't be adventurers for very long." Rumble explains as he follows Blackbird and the small pony behind the waterfall. "You fought pretty well yourself. And that beast was a great fight…" He blinks at Snowfield. "Could you do it again sometime?"

"No, no, you can't go back there," Snowfield mumbles. "Nopony's allowed back there. Gotta keep the body safe." She thumps a hoof against his side weakly for emphasis. It is not very discouraging. "'til Polaris is back."

She rolls her head to look around Blackbird's neck at Rumble Riot. "I wasn't fight, just posturing… had to scare you off. They can smell the blood, gotta make it too much trouble so they don't eat her." She doesn't answer if she could do it again. Judging from her current condition? Probably not, at least not without a lot of bed rest first.

"Shut up, Snowfield," Blackbird grouses, as he examines the waterfall. "You need to rest." And when he finds the spot, he ahas! And squirms through.

"Body? What body?" Rumble asks, squeezing in after the others. "…Ooh, are you already part of a bigger adventure, Mr. Adventure? Is it something I can help with?"

As Blackbird already surmised from Sadaka's tall tales, there is, in fact, a cavern behind the waterfall! It's a tight squeeze for a full grown stallion (Celestia forbid he was a draft horse), but the cavern is large enough to fit several comfortably and is significantly warmer than outside— only around 30 degrees instead of 0! It's magically lit by a small, ice blue fire in the center of the cavern which is not giving off any heat.

Oh, also the mayor's desecrated corpse is pinned to the wall like a butterfly on display. Perhaps literally, since she's still impaled by the weathervane what killed her over a month ago. Salty is suspended above the ground by a red-stained block of ice that holds her against the wall, leaving only her head exposed, mouth hanging open and tilted up slightly, presumably so that whatever concoction is currently dripping from her chin can be more easily forced down the blue unicorn's gullet.

For her part, Snowfield is silent on Blackbird's back, eyes closed and breathing raggedly.

Blackbird has significant trouble, especially since he's trying to be gentle with the ragged unicorn on his back. But he manages at last to make it through, with some squirming and scrabbling, only to pop through and see…

…that.

He backpedals, eyes widening. "I didn't think the rumors were true! I— … wait, no…" His mind is working quickly! For once. Maybe because he honestly doesn't think Snowfield would kill anypony. Click click click click click DING. "You're preserving her. Keeping the body safe… What're you doing, Snowfield?" It's an honest question, not an accusatory one.

Oof! Rumble gets backed into, seeing as he was hot on the heels or whatnot in squeezing through that tiny place. He flumps back onto his rear in the cave, squinting around. "NIce… Cold. But nice." He, too, spots the body on the wall, pointing a hoof. "Is that real? A real, honest to goodness body? Ohhh I came to the right place!" …Eventually he'll shut up. Eventually.

"Panicked," mumbles Snowfield as she tries to stay awake despite the magical drain that's sapping her consciousness. "Happened so suddenly… couldn't find the Watcher, had to do it myself." One eye half-opens to stare blearily at Rumble before she continues. "Been giving her a life freeze potion every day. Keeps her on this side of death, just barely. Polaris will come with the cure before I run out."

Salty's body stares blankly off into space.

Blackbird stares at the body for a long moment, the discomfort wearing off to just grim observation. "You're a good pony, Snowfield," he comments, before he goes and lays the pony down near the blue fire. "Do you need us to do anything to help? Maybe Adventure-Pony here can ward off whatever creepies the forest has in store until you're feeling well enough. Do you need food or anything?" He looks to Rumble, though, obviously not sure how to feel about him. Weird pony. Helpful pony. Hrm.

"Hmn?" Rumble blinks, hearing Adventure. "Oh! I never gave my name, did I?" He stands up proudly! "Rumble Riot. At your service. I'll guard this place with my life!" He promptly spins about, and stands next to the opening to the cave. "Nothing's going to get past me!"

"Can pick my own berries," Snowfield mumbles. "Too many magical plants out here, too many are poisonous." She stumbles back to her feet once Blackbird puts her on the ground, unwilling to keep down when she really ought to. Besides, the fire's not very warm, what with being magically summoned by an ice pony and all. "Can't trust anyone else with the mayor. Just need the potion."

"Alright. How about I go help Polaris with the cure, then?" Blackbird tactfully doesn't mention that she looks like death iced over, and instead nods politely at Rumble. "Pleasure, Rumble-Riot. I'm Blackbird, the local teacher at Horseshoe Harbor."

Rumble does something that could be perceived as a salute. "Blackbird, right. A teacher-adventurer's cool in my book!" He grins. Then looks slightly confused. "Am I supposed to stay here and help or go with you and help?"

Snowfield leans against a wall of the frozen grotto and nods at Blackbird. "Fine. Find Polaris. She needs a healing potion." The little unicorn takes a deep breath and pulls her wits back about her. "It has to be instant-acting, fast-acting is too slow. And it can't react with Windigo's Kiss. Salty can't afford any weird herb interactions with the potion she's already got in her system."

The mare glances in Rumble's direction. "I'm fine by myself. That was a big enough spectacle to have scattered the forest creatures lurking, they won't be back until I've recovered enough to handle them." Her pride and distrustfulness won't let her accept any further help, not to mention she hates the idea of having anypony staying here in her secret hideaway for more than a night. "Find Polaris. He has a lantern that will lead him back here."

Blackbird nods to Snowfield. "Alright. We'll go and find the aide and help him." He reaches back to pluck up the extinguished lanterns and trots over to the fire to try and relight them. "Let me just get this done, and we'll be on our way. Mind coming with, Riot?"

Rumble-Riot bobs his head agreeably. "Of course! It'll be an adventure and a half just getting back to town. The rest of this sounds fun too."

The magical fire probably won't do what Blackbird wants it to. It's not hot, so it can't actually make anything burn. Maybe his unicorn buddy there knows proper fire magic instead of just glorified light spells.

"I don't know how much longer I can stretch out the potion I've got left. I've used all the Windigo's Kiss from my stores, so making more isn't an option," Snowfield explained. "Be brisk."

Blackbird bobs his head. "Alright. We're off then. Take care, Snowfield. Don't run yourself too ragged." And, squeezing back out of the cave, he and Riot set off for town…